A favorite verse for many of us: “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4).
Gracious and bountiful
“I know what a lovely, gracious, bountiful Being God is, from the revelation which he has been pleased to make of Himself in His Holy Word; I believe this revelation; I also know from my own experience the truth of it; and therefore I was satisfied with God, I delighted myself in God; and so, it came, that He gave me the desire of my heart…” –George Muller, April 1874.
The desire of your heart
George Muller did not start out well. When he was young, the desire of his heart was to find shortcuts to get what he wanted. Stuff! Before he was 10 years old, he was stealing government money from his father. When caught, was he repentant? No! Rather, he wondered how he could be more clever next time so as not to be discovered!
His earthly father’s plans for George
His father had hoped George would become a pastor. Sounds like a godly man, doesn’t he? Not so much. Not so fast. He did not desire that because he was concerned about people’s souls. Rather, young George’s father’s only concern was to have a comfortable old age, living with his “pastor” son. Sadly, it seems the apple didn’t fall far from the tree! The love of money revealed their self-pleasing hearts.
What happened the night George’s mother died?
The night his mother had died, he had been out playing cards until 2 in the morning! He then went out with friends and got extremely intoxicated! Of all things, the next day, he began a series of previously scheduled confirmation classes. Afterwards, when he returned to his dorm room, his father was waiting to take George to his mother’s funeral. It was the first he had known of his mother’s death. His grief seemed to drive him even more into immorality and the defrauding of people…even his priest.
At one point, he ended up in jail
When his father bailed him out, he berated his son horribly. (I guess he didn’t realize that he had been a role model for his son. And George had been a good “student” of his father’s character flaws.) There is more, but you get the idea. Young George was less than a model citizen. And certainly not a man who “delighted” in God! What happened to change him into one of the most amazing Christian missionaries ever?
God–the Transformer of human hearts
How did he become a shining example to hundreds of children and also to those he ministered with? They trusted him. They followed his example into believing that God can be trusted with absolutely every aspect of our lives. He knew that God is good. All the time. No matter what! So, what brought him to the point that he was willing to stand up tall and trust God with every single aspect of his life? What caused him to know God so well that he did not turn to dishonest gain ever again? What happened?
The power of Godly friends
Choose your friends and mentors wisely. We become like those who lead us. As early as chapter 2, you will begin to see the evolution of George Muller into the man we all should want to emulate. It really began when he was in a friend’s home and a man of God, got on his knees and prayed a prayer like George had never ever heard before. This man truly KNEW GOD in an intimate and personal way. George kept returning to that home. He wanted what that man had…
A deep and true transformation
We learn of the remarkable results of George Muller’s relationship of delight and confidence in God. He lived by prayer and faith alone, housing and feeding thousands of homeless children in Great Britain without making his needs know to anyone but God. He only discussed the many needs with God. He desperately wanted people to SEE that God does indeed take care of those who trust Him fully.
”Thou art good, and doest good.” That verse served him well during times of his own great personal loss of those he loved dearly. So many challenges this man faced and yet he steadfastly followed close after Jesus. Speaking honestly his concerns and needs with his Friend that sticks closer than a brother. And then, always…Trusting. Obeying. Loving and being loved!
The power of testimony:
That is why I read Christian biographies, and why we have provided you a list of books to inspire and encourage you. Books that have inspired me for many years…over and over again, with each re-reading. We all NEED Christian biographies to remind us to keep our eyes on Jesus. They become friends we can fellowship with any hour of the day or night. To remind us what is TRULY important. Not STUFF! Not prestige! Not money! But a close personal relationship with Jesus! THAT is the power of testimony! That is why I share with you, dear friend, a bit of George Muller’s journey into faithfulness.
The early disciples had Jesus in the flesh
And then THEY became examples to follow as they followed Christ. That is also why God gave us Hebrews 11. He knows we need examples of faithful Christ-followers. Hebrews 11 has been called the Faith Chapter. It is chock full of examples of those who have been faithful followers, at great personal cost to their lives and fortunes! The Bible AND Christian biographies inspire and encourage us to BE examples too, like those that have gone before us!
What more do you need?
When God is all you have, you will discover God is all you need. George Muller discovered that God is more than enough. He came to realize that Almighty God was indeed his refuge and strength. An ever-present help in times of trouble. And with all the trouble George had in his life, he continuously DELIGHTED IN GOD.
Until next time,
Marantha! Come Lord Jesus!